IDC has lowered its tablet forecast modestly for 2013 and beyond, seeing greater competition from larger screen smartphones and new categories of mobile computing devices, including wearable technology. IDC analysts now expect tablet shipments will reach 227.4 million units worldwide this year rather than the 229.3 million previously forecast.
The revised forecast is still 57.7 million units above 2012’s total, however, and IDC expects the global market for tablets to continue growing strong, reaching nearly 407 million units by 2017. Growth will be strongest in emerging markets such as Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan), Latin America, Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa, IDC said. While mature markets including North America, Western Europe and Japan currently comprised 60.8% of the worldwide tablet market in 2012, that percentage will fall to 49% by 2017. During the same period, emerging markets’ share of the tablet market will climb from 39.2% to 51%.
IDC analysts also anticipate the commercial segment of the tablet market to gain ground over the five-year period. The consumer segment accounted for 90% of the global tablet market in 2012 and the commercial segment comprised 10%. By 2017, IDC expects the former to slip to 80% and the latter to rise to 20%.